A CLOCK and watch museum launched in Haltwhistle six years ago has been saved from closure.

The Bell family launched Mr George’s Museum of Time in 2012 to tell the story of horology through the ages.

Last month, the family started an online fund-raising campaign to buy the premises, at Central Place, after landlord Desire Properties put it up for sale.

This wasn’t successful so now Diana Bell, who also runs her clock and watch repairs workshop from within the building, has found another way of saving the museum.

She said: “I’ve decided to sell my home because my four children have all grown up, and it’s time to downsize.

“This will enable me to live in a slightly smaller house, and also raise the money needed to buy the museum. I have made an offer to the landlord for the premises, and it has been accepted.”

Mrs Bell said that although the fund-raising campaign had not been successful, she had been “encouraged by the support and kindness of people from near and far.”

She added: “A lot of people came into see us, and they didn’t want the museum to close.

“It was always going to be a big ask to raise that level of money, so I’m really pleased we’ve found a solution.”

Mrs Bell said the existing premises was ideal for the museum, due to its size and layout.

She admitted that losing the venue would have made it almost impossible to find a suitable alternative to house the museum’s fascinating exhibits.

The not-for-profit museum runs alongside the family’s repairs workshop business in the same premises.

An educational resource and tourist attraction, the museum is based on a series of children’s stories, Mr George the Clock Man , written by Mrs Bell about her late father, who was a clockmaker in North Tyneside.